Two trustees said the uncertain direction of the local schools is behind their recent resignations from the municipal school board.
The Board of Mayor and Aldermen received the resignation letters of both school board president John Wallace and trustee Willye Neal Thomas last week.
The resignations caught many off-guard in the midst of the school district adjusting to a new era with recently-hired superintendent Darron Edwards.
“It caught me by surprise,” said Alderman Gregory Robertson. “But that’s their choice to make. I hate to lose them.”
Wallace’s letter to city leaders listed two reasons behind his resignation as school board president.
“The Yazoo City School District is headed in a direction that I choose not to go,” the letter reads. “I am adhering to the unanimous request of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen that we do in fact resign for reasons that I have not yet been able to understand.”
Wallace is referring to the request made by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen last January. The search for the district’s superintendent at the time created tension between the school and city boards.
Lack of communication led to the city council requesting the school trustees at the time to resign.
No formal resignations from the school board at the time were submitted. Later, Vanessa Crowder was appointed by the city council to replace Debra Crook on the school board
Thomas formally resigned from the school board on July 12.
“I feel I can no longer effect change and growth in the current environment which does not place the education and development of our children and community first,” her letter reads.
Robertson said the city council received only letters from both Wallace and Thomas. No recent personal visits had been made to the city council.
“No one has come to speak to us as a board personally,” Robertson said.
Alderman Dr. Jack Varner said he is not aware of what happened between the school board trustees.
“If there were any reasons, I don’t know,” Varner said. “The only word I got was that (Wallace and Thomas) were outvoted by the other three board members. Now, what that vote was about, I don’t know.”
Varner also said the school board elected Dave Collins as its new president and Lula Starling as its new vice president.
Calls to Wallace and Thomas, as well as the current trustees, were not returned as of press time.
The Herald was not present at the most recent school board meeting because it was held outside of its regularly scheduled time.
No notice was provided to the newspaper.
A representative at the central administrative office said the last school board meeting was held Monday, July 11. However, The Herald received no word of such meeting.
Previously, the Herald received notice whenever the meetings were held outside of the regularly scheduled times.
Varner said the city council will make replacement nominations during their next meeting on Monday, July 25.
Varner said he hopes the right people are put in the vacant positions.
“There is no hope for Yazoo City in the future years if we don’t start educating the children,” Varner said.